25 Tips For Making A Long-Term Relationship Work

Scott Webb
Found on AskReddit.

1. Wait 5-10 minutes before deciding if the argument will be worth it.

“Wait 5-10 minutes before deciding if you really give a shit about whatever it is you’re about to argue over. Chances are, you only thought you gave a shit.”


2. Try not to spend every second of every day together.

“Try not to spend every second of every day together. Make sure you both have some alone time. You’ll value the time you do have together more. You can’t miss someone if they’re never gone.”


3. Talk.



If something is pissing you off, or you’d like something done differently, or whatever—talk about it rationally, and find a solution. If you don’t, you’ll mention it in a fight or whatever and then it won’t come out rationally. Similarly, if your partner does the same to you be receptive and try to find a solution.

Not everything about a relationship is perfect. Talking about problems or potential problems is not an admission of failure.”


4. Treat your S/O as equals in every way.

“Treat your S/O as equals in every way. Make ‘quality time’ to be together, just the two of you. Do things that make both of you happy, rather than to drift apart by overly indulging in activities that only one person likes but the other endures.”


5. Give without the intention to get.

“Give without intention to get—the other day I did all of my chores and my wife’s weekly chores and bought her favorite dessert. Did it kill an afternoon? Sure. Has she been in an awesome mood ever since (1 week later). You betcha. I had no idea nor did I really care if she would reciprocate or want sex or whatnot but she is just an overall much happier person right now.

Take time to listen and understand—sitting down and letting her vent if she’s in a bad mood. She will probably say something like, you probably don’t even care. That’s when you reinforce that you truly do care. It’s like with your boss almost, you may not care about a topic that they talk about, but it’s important to them, and therefore important to you.

Cuddle—sometimes just because, without intention of anything else happening. Just a nice rub of the shoulders and holding each other tightly. Its showing love rather than just saying.

Compliment—take the time to compliment BEFORE prompted. Hey babe that dress really looks nice on you, as she’s getting ready. I really like how you did that eye liner thing last time we went out, as she is doing her makeup. Show her how much you appreciate the effort that she puts in.

Ask for opinions—this kind of goes along with listening. Many time guys get gung ho and start just doing shit. Take the time, especially if it’s a two-person project to get her opinion. Start with something like ‘I think we should do x. What do you think?’ Instead of ‘This is how we are going to/this is how it should be done.’”


6. Remember to fight the problem, not each other.

“It’s not you versus her in anything. It’s the both of you against the problem. To men who tend to look for solutions in all things, miscommunication can be the problem. Sometimes you shouldn’t go into problem solving mode if that itself creates problems between you. She may just want someone to vent to, to commiserate with, or to take her side. If you’ve had a miscommunication it’s not you’re right and she’s wrong or vice versa, both your perspectives are valid and you need to figure out how the both of you can work together to prevent that in the future.

Go to bed angry, wake up and talk it out. There’s some bad advice out there about never going to bed angry, when tempers are worn thin and you’re both tired on top of that you’re both more likely to say things which can’t be taken back. Just don’t invite that into your life. Learn how to get a little space when you need it, for both of you, rather than trying to force a conversation you may both regret. But likewise too, you can’t let problems fester: talk about it, calmly, within 24 hours.

The 80/20 rules.

You should feel like you’re doing 80% of the work, because she’ll feel the same. You’re aware of everything you’re doing for her, even the behind the scenes stuff she doesn’t realize. Likewise the other way around.

On 80% of the things she does that annoy you, just learn to live with it. No one is the fantasy in your head. If you don’t learn to live with a real woman, faults and all, you’ll learn to live alone. That 20% though, that’s what you earn by accepting the 80, some compromises have to be made to live together so if it really bothers you that much then she’ll have to learn to work with you.”


7. Never take them for granted.

“Don’t take your partner for granted. Make sure to tell them that you love them, that you appreciate them, that you’re attracted to them—hell, if your partner cooks dinner, even if it’s the 10,000th dinner you’ve had, be gracious and say ‘thank you for making dinner, it was delicious.’”


8. Just be there and stop trying to solve their problems.

“So much of what women want is just being there.

She doesn’t want your help picking out her outfit, or solving a dispute with her bitchy co-workers. Just sit there and listen while providing enough commentary to show you are paying some attention.

Yes, it’s boring and pointless to us, but stop trying to solve their problems for them and life will become much simpler.”


9. Don’t try to offer solutions to every problem they come to you with.

“Don’t try to offer solutions to every problem she comes to you with. Sometimes she’s just venting to you. Odds are she’s intelligent enough to fix the issue and already knows the answer, but she just wants to complain a little and get it off her chest.”


10. Pick your battles.

“Pick your battles. Arguing isn’t really worth it, it’s just going to ruin the relationship. If you argue over petty stuff, you’re going to lose her.

Be there for her. That doesn’t mean solve all of her problems. Let her rant to you about what she has to rant about. Chances are, she just needs to get it out of her system.

Don’t act like she’s dependent. She’s independent. She’s her own person. She can solve her problems and get work done on her own. Let her know you’re willing to help, but if she wants to do it herself, LET HER. If a woman has her mind set on something, she’s going to do it.

You don’t own her. I can’t tell you how many times I hear people getting mad at their SO for going somewhere without asking, wearing shorts, or hanging out with friends. It’s stupid to get mad at her for living her life.

Communicate. If she has been hanging around a guy friend and it has you concerned, fucking talk to her about it. You have to be open about communication though. If you try to tell her that she can’t do something, she’s damn well going to do it. If you talk to her about it, she’s more inclined to compromise. Fucking communicate.

Compliment her. Don’t go ‘you’re the most beautiful girl in the world and I love every single feature about you and….’ that’s creepy. Just a simple ‘You look great today’ or ‘I like how you did your hair today.’ Is enough to brighten her day a bit.”


11. Learn how to argue constructively.

“Married for 13 years. The early bliss of a relationship doesn’t necessarily go away, it just gets clouded by all the other BS of life that we need to deal with, at some point. Better have some good talks and understanding about life goals, kids, money, careers, families, etc. Learn good communication if you don’t have it, and learn how to argue. Everyone will at some point, but doing it badly can make a relationship that much more difficult. Don’t forget about the little things that can make a person’s day. I’ll never get tired of making her laugh or doing something spontaneous, or just getting away for a weekend here and there. Both of you will make mistakes at some point, don’t point out their flaws without acknowledging yours. Lastly, be honest. Good or bad, things go a lot smoother with them when you’re honest with them, and yourself.”


12. Take a deep breath and let go.

Detach. Take a deep breath and let go. Remember that this situation/argument is not the definitive moment.

The moment I learnt to detach myself from those kind of situations where you’re not always agreeing, it was a huge, positive shift. A month in to me actively trying to detach and get less intense, I actually had one of those ‘moments’, where we were just chilling and she mentioned—’Hey, you’ve been different recently. Good different’.

It took me to stop for us to realize how desensitized we’d become to just having arguments. I’d recommend it, life is a lot better without wasting your energy on harmful conversations with the people you love.”


13. Have a bar of chocolate hidden somewhere.

“Have a bar of chocolate hidden somewhere. That way when she’s stressed or annoyed or just generally having a shit day you can pull it out and give it to her. She’ll be glad for it, and you look considerate.”


14. Stand up for yourself when you actually disagree about something.

“Stand up for yourself when she tries to get you to agree to things you actually disagree with. I know, I know ‘But…but…I want to avoid conflict.’

Being open and honest about how you feel at all times will lead to WAAAAAY more stability later on. This does NOT mean answer truthfully to her ‘Does this make me look fat?’ type questions at all times. Nonono. That’s a trap. I mean on actual big decisions and things where she has to twist your arm into doing it. Be honest. Tell her how you feel about it. She may bitch and complain a bit, but two years from that moment she won’t be able to say ‘REMEMBER THAT OBSCURE MOMENT FROM TWO YEARS AGO?!?!’

And on the more sensitive side, get in the habit of letting her/him vent to you. Tell them that you love them more than once a month. And pretend you like their friends unless they have actually shitty friends.”


15. Learn how to spend time apart.

“Biggest thing I had to learn was how to say to each other ‘I love you, you’re a good person, you’re not doing anything wrong, I’m not mad…but you’re driving me insane right now. I need you to go away for an hour.’

Once you learn to not that take personally and, conversely, learn how to say that to your SO, your life gets exponentially better.”


16. Don’t be disgusting. Keep things tidy and clean.

“What’s worked for me:

Listen with intent every time she speaks.

You can’t take it personally when something out of your control affects her. So many dudes want to fix every little thing, and that’s not always possible.

Support her interests and ambitions, even if that’s as simple as letting her do things without interruptions or jealousy.

Don’t be disgusting. Keep things tidy and clean.

Help when and where you can, even if that means paying an expert.

Don’t be afraid of being emotionally vulnerable around her. Caveat: this is only effective if she truly cares about you; if she’s a cunt, it can be used against you.

Inside jokes have a long shelf-life.”


17. Know when to be quiet.

“Knowing when to shut the fuck up.

When she tells you her problems do not tell her how to fix them.

Do not worry about being ‘right.’”


18. Agree to disagree.

“Agree to disagree.

Sometimes, it’s not necessary to think the same way about everything. Allow each other the freedom to respectfully disagree.

That allows each other to be oneself and not feel threatened.”


19. Learn how to listen.

“Listen. Really listen. Like, listen to your partner’s words and hear them. Understand them. Roll your partners words around your brain like fine wine inside your mouth. Wet your mental pallet.

If you/I/we can take the time to listen to our partners to understand them, rather than listening to prepare a response right away, they will feel more heard, and chances are we will gain a better understanding of the issue.”


20. Learn to admit when you are wrong.

“This advice is for men and women.

Learn to admit when you are wrong. There is nothing wrong with being wrong. Everyone will be a lot many many things in their life. You look a lot better admitting when you are rather than just digging in your heels and being a jackass.

Clean on a set day and time. The house hold chores should be an even 50/50 split unless one of you is a stay at home.

Never go to bed angry and never let your last words before leaving be something rude or mean, you never know if that will be your last time seeing them.

Flowers all the time if they like them, if they don’t find something small they do like. I buy my girlfriend flowers maybe once every other week. It’s been my experience that the flowers from Walmart that cost $5 last two or three times longer than the flowers you can get at an actual florist. I had one bouquet from Walmart last well over a month.

And probably most importantly do not keep secrets from them or have secret friends or anything like that. All that does is breed mistrust.”


21. Don’t put your significant other down, ever.

“Don’t put your significant other down, ever. You’re supposed to raise each other up.

Maintain a sense of individuality. The other person fell in love with you, your quirks, your idiosyncrasies, and your persona. If you try to merge all those things up with the other person, they will lose part of you.

Sometimes you will have to be strong for the other person, sometimes for a really long time. Do this without complaint or a sense of martyrdom.”


22. Be quick to apologize.

“Here’s what works for us… Be quick to say ‘I’m sorry.’ Be even quicker to say ‘I forgive you,’ even if you don’t feel like it at the time. Just getting the words out starts the healing. Stay positive. Do things together. We don’t divide chores, we do them together. Don’t sweat the small stuff. (Most things are small). Find things to laugh about. One checking account, you’re married, not roommates. Practice your faith together. Go to bed at the same time together every night. Sex, frequently. If she’s sick, take care of her. Understand boundaries. Protect your marriage. There are people and things out there that would love to tear you apart. We did not live together before we got married. We went on our honeymoon, then came back and we moved her stuff to the house I already owned. We’ve been married for 29 years.”


23. Don’t fight over the little things.

“Give up sometimes on the little things. That is small things that may annoy you but in the grand scheme of things are inconsequential. For instance, my wife and I have a double sink in the bathroom. For some reason, even though she has an outlet on her side, she does her hair on my side and then always leaves the hairdryer/curling iron plugged in and on the counter on my side. This used to really get under my skin since I had asked her to put things back when she was done; but eventually I just stopped letting it bother me and now I put her things back after she’s done with them.

tl:dr There is potential to let small idiosyncrasies get under your skin and cause problems/fights. If they’re really not that big of a deal, don’t make them a big deal.”


24. Realize that you have to keep working at it.

“Realize that you have to continually work at marriage to make it work well. It will not survive on its own. Realize that (most) women’s basic needs in a marriage are to feel loved and safe. That sounds obvious, but over the years we have the tendency to stop doing the things we did early in our relationship to win their love. Don’t stop holding her when you get home, kissing her before you part in the morning, giving her flowers, gifts, whatever she likes. Make sure she knows you’re not going anywhere and that you have her back.”


25. Be weird together.

“Be weird together. It keeps things light so when problems arise you have a goal to work towards to go back to the weird fun times. Works for me now more than any relationship I’ve had.”

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